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The land yields its harvest; God, our God, blesses us. Psalm 67:6

We found ourselves side by side with the mud oozing between our toes as we harvested a small corner of a rice field nearby to our Siem Reap home. On the land where we stood, we could recall the seasons shared with the landowners. On this land we have celebrated a family wedding, a number of Khmer festivals and mourned at a funeral. We seek to see life through the eyes of our neighbours as we experience together seasons of planting, growing and harvesting; seasons of change, hope, challenges and love.

After three months of the rice growing, we were invited to participate as a team in the experience of rice harvesting, threshing and preparation of flattened rice. One of the parts of a Khmer end of wet season festival (Bon Om Touk) that normally involves boat racing, releasing prayer floats and even the full moon remembrance of a story of a pre-incarnation of Buddha that concludes with an apparent image of a rabbit on the moon!

As language nurturers and participants, we all are learning about Khmer culture and gaining new skills together. A few of our language nurturers had never done these activities before; having fewer connection to their cultural traditions like rice farming through transitions to city living. A significant lesson is that many hands make light work.

The important rice crop in Cambodia provides lessons for life. Harvest of rice is something that is changing with modern machinery in parts of Cambodia, but is still harvested by hand in many areas and involves anyone in the family who can use a custom-made curve bladed knife. It is a season of joy and abundance. A healthy thriving rice crop is a good illustration of what we see ourselves partnering in through our engagement in intercultural work. We aspire to see Khmer people thriving with increasing levels of wholeness, completeness and wellbeing in their community and homes.

As we share together with you and you encourage and partner with us, we hope you can sense the feeling of mud oozing between your toes too!

We are convinced that any intercultural engagement is limited without prayer. In this video, intercultural workers from across the globe share about the extraordinary difference prayer makes as they serve among the communities that they love. They have an invitation for you. You can watch the video here:

Here’s a yarn or two with this new “missioning” podcast episode with Deb Thyda sharing stories from her life among her Khmer neighbours. Listen to be encouraged that God is at work… in Cambodia and in your local community. Just click the link here and then click on Episode 7.

Working and learning together in the harvest.
Group efforts in making flattened rice.
Threshing the rice together with our feet.
Making symbols of thankfulness and hope.
Making “prayer floats” together.
Sulari and Deb unpack what ‘missioning’ may look like.
For limited COVID-19 presence to date across Cambodia.
For receding floods and efforts of recovery of crops, homes and businesses.
For good health, and rest across the team.
For wisdom as Cambodia navigates the risks of community transmission of COVID-19,
For the Cambodian team discernment for the next stages of strategy development.
For our two team families presently in Australia to be equipped with what is needed to return to Cambodia.